Obama in NYC Thursday for Fundraisers; Traffic Alerts

Pop star Justin Bieber will likely add to midtown blockage

Thursday, Jun 23, 2011  |  Updated 8:13 AM EDT
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Traffic Alert: Obama and Bieber in NYC

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President Obama will be in New York City Thursday for another round of fundraisers spanning Midtown and the Upper East Side.

Obama's first scheduled event in New York is at 7 p.m. at the Democratic National Committee's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Gala at the Midtown Sheraton. Actor Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting the sold-out $1,250-a-ticket dinner, which comes days ahead of Gay Pride Parade in New York City.

The event turns a spotlight on an issue that causes consternation for the gay community: Obama's opposition to gay marriage.

Gay activists view the Obama administration as slow to take up their issues. But the president won over many by repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military and by instructing the Justice Department to stop defending in court a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

However, Obama has disappointed gay supporters by endorsing civil unions but not marriages.

At 8 p.m., Obama attends a more intimate $35,800-a-ticket dinner at swanky Upper East Side restaurant Daniel. The host committee will be heavily made up of Wall Street leaders, according to the Daily News.

Obama caps off his night with an appearance at 9:45 p.m. at a fundraising performance of the popular Broadway musical "Sister Act." Tickets for the show were $250 to $10,000, the costliest of which included a photo op with Obam, reports Politico.

This marks the third time Obama has come to New York City to raise money for his 2012 re-election campaign. He's been asking his top donors to bring in $60 million by June 30, which marks the end of the second fundraising quarter.

"By way of comparison, the Obama campaign raised just over $30 million in the second quarter of 2007," noted CNN's White House blog. "But the eye-popping figure is approximately equal to what the Bush/Cheney campaign raised for its reelection effort in the second quarter of 2003."

On top of that, teen sensation Justin Bieber is scheduled visit Macy's in Herald Square on Thursday to promote his new perfume, "Someday," according to his website. Bieber's huge fan following and heavy security will likely cause major traffic in the area well before his 2:30 P.M. appearance. Gothamist reported that security personell were already prepping for the event Wednesday night.

 

TRAFFIC ALERT
(Times are approximate guesses based on the scheduled events)

Traffic blogger Gridlock Sam notes the following traffic routes and alerts during Obama's visit:

5 p.m.: Motorcade up the FDR Drive to the Sheraton at Seventh Avenue and 53rd street, likely via the 42nd Street exit.

The FDR Drive below 63rd Street will be frozen, along with all avenues between First and Seventh as Obama heads crosstown. 

West 53rd Street will be closed until at least 7 p.m., with trucks diverted off Seventh Avenue just before the hotel.

7-8 p.m. Seventh through Park Avenues will be frozen as the motorcade crosses back over to the east side for dinner at Daniel on 65h Street between Park and Madison avenues.

Avoid Park Avenue until after 9:30 p.m., because the President will most likely travel back down Park Avenue for his final stop of the night.

9 p.m. Motorcade to Broadway Theatre at 52nd Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue to meet with donors attending "Sister Act."

Then it's back to the Wall Street Heliport via the southbound FDR Drive, which the motorcade will likely enter at 42nd Street.

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